Who's Afraid of a Constitution?

Alessio Romenzi for TIME

A messy exercise in sovereignty

At the heart of the tumult in Egypt is the nature of its new constitution. On one side are Islamist political forces pressing for its passage as a step forward toward their vision of stability and democracy; on the other, liberals and moderates who see it as a threat to individual freedoms.

Many in Egypt agree that the proposed constitution is far from perfect. Liberal critics point out that the assembly chosen to write the constitution was selected by a parliament dominated by Islamist parties. Though that parliament was dissolved by...

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